Corn to be Wild
Corn for cows, corn for fuel, corn for chips, corn for shoes. How else is this versatile cereal crop used, let’s find out!
Corn is known world-wide as maize; it was first domesticated by the indigenous people of what is now southern Mexico about 10,000 years ago. The United States produces the most corn annually and is also the largest consumer of corn. From grits, corn-on-the-cob, popcorn, cornstarch, syrup and oil, Americans on average eat 25 pounds of corn a year.
Corn contains vitamins B, C, magnesium, and phosphorus. The insoluble fiber in corn helps feed the good bacteria in the gut. Average corn on the cob is 44 calories, 7.5 carbs and 1.5 grams of protein. It provides 1 percent of the daily value of fat, 3 percent of the daily amount of carbohydrates and 3 percent of the daily value of dietary fiber based on a 2000 calorie diet.
For all its nutritional value, corn does have a downside; High-fructose (sugar) corn syrup (HFCS). This sweetener is made from corn starch that has been processed to convert some of its glucose into fructose. Because the body is not meant for large amounts of fructose, it gets stored in the liver to be used as fuel for the body later. This causes stress on the liver and can lead to a condition known as fatty liver. High-fructose corn syrup is found in cereals, soda, candy, and many other foods. It creates a rapid rise in blood sugar levels; wreaking havoc with appetite control and leading to long-term health issues such as high blood pressure, tooth decay, weight gain, dementia, and cancer.
Forty percent of corn grown today is used to make ethanol and as animal feed. A growing percentage of corn is used to produce bio-based plastics.
Recently Reebok introduced the Cotton + Corn sneaker. The shoe is constructed of a 100% cotton upper and corn-based sole. It is the first environmentally-friendly shoe ever to be certified by the USDA as containing seventy-five percent bio-based materials.